Vials of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD india vaccine
Vials of AstraZeneca's Covishield COVID-19 vaccine, are seen before they are packaged inside a lab at Serum Institute of India, Pune, India. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Bahrain has granted an emergency use authorisation for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine against COVID-19, the third such approval in the kingdom, health authorities have said.

The vaccine is produced by the AstraZeneca Company in cooperation with Oxford University and is manufactured in India. The approval comes on the basis of a study conducted by Bahrain’s National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) with participation of an inoculation committee at the Health Ministry.

NHRA Chief Executive Officer Dr Mariam Al Jalahma said an in-depth study had been conducted on all related documents including the manufacture quality and results of an immunology study.

“NHRA has granted the emergency use licence in coordination with the manufacturing company because it complies with several measures of vaccine quality control, safety and effectiveness,” she added.

This vaccine will be injected in two doses with 28 days apart, according to Dr Al Jalahma. The official cited an AstraZeneca study showing that effectiveness of the vaccine after the second dose reaches 70.42 per cent.

Bahrain has already granted an emergency use authorisation for the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Chinese-made Sinopharm jabs against COVID-19.

Bahrain last month began vaccinations against COVID-19 aiming to inoculate a total of 1.5 million people including citizens and expatriates. The vaccination is available free of charge to all citizens and foreign residents of the age of 18 years and above in the kingdom.